Source-Destination Cultural Differences, Immigrants’ Skill Levels, and Immigrant Stocks: Evidence from Six OECD Member Countries

Publication date: 5 Aug 2014 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity, Exiting the EU & Britain after Brexit | External Author(s): White, Roger; Yamasaki, Nicole

Abstract:

Examining data for 79 immigrant source countries and six OECD member destination countries during the years 1975–2000, we find that source-destination cultural differences inhibit international migration. We also report that existing immigrant stocks act to offset, at least in part, the migration-inhibiting effects of cultural differences. Employing educational attainment as a proxy for skill, we find variation across low-, medium-, and high-skilled immigrant cohorts both with respect to the cultural distance-migration relationship and in terms of the extent to which existing immigrant stocks offset the influence of cultural differences. Our results appear robust to econometric techniques, sample composition, and endogeneity issues.

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